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Director, Family Economic Security (FES)
Associate Research Scientist


The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), founded in 1989 at Columbia University, is one of the nation’s leading public policy research centers. Housed within the Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, NCCP is promoting the health, economic security, and well-being of America’s low-income children and their families. The center uses research to inform policy and practice with the goal of ensuring positive outcomes for the next generation and promotes family-oriented solutions at the state and national levels.

The Director of Family Economic Security (FES) is a key member of the center’s senior staff who will lead, manage, and fundraise for a portfolio of research that: (1) illuminates the connections between family economic status and family and child health and development, (2) provides evidence-based assessments of policy solutions to reduce family poverty and economic hardship, (3) originates and investigates new policy research areas to advance economic mobility for families, (4) amplifies the role of economic security in public health, and (5) advances the mission of the center and the Mailman School of Public Health.

Specifically, she or he will report to the center director and be responsible for conducting the following activities:

  1. Develop and lead NCCP’s research and policy agenda for family economic security, in coordination with the center director
  2. Identify emerging research and policy opportunities that further NCCP’s mission and strengthen the center’s capacity and reputation in the field
  3. Undertake a robust research portfolio of primary and secondary research in family economic security
  4. Maintain and nurture relationships with existing funders and successfully develop new sources of funding
  5. Develop and manage project budgets in coordination with NCCP’s financial coordinator
  6. Author briefs, policy reports, peer-reviewed articles, and fact sheets for NCCP’s core audiences—policymakers, advocates, and researchers
  7. Present the FES team’s work to diverse audiences via conferences, webinars, legislative testimony, and other venues
  8. Serve as a principal media spokesperson for the center
  9. Work with communications consultants to promote FES activities through the center’s website, social media, and other channels
  10. Supervise and mentor a team of master’s-level research analysts, promote staff development, and participate in center-wide planning and management as part of the senior management team
  11. Contribute to the teaching and research mission of Columbia University, developing collaborative partner-ships with MSPH and other Columbia faculty and mentoring students
  12. Serve as a thought partner to the NCCP Director and as her representative, acting on her behalf in her absence


  • PhD or DrPH required in economics, sociology, social work, public policy public health, or a related field
  • Five years’ experience in social science research and/or policy analysis relevant to low-income children and families
  • Deep knowledge of national- and state-level social policy for low-income families
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the demonstrated ability to write effectively for policymakers and other non-specialist readers and to interact with the media and policymakers
  • A track record of published work, ideally in peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated ability to secure financial support from government agencies and foundations
  • At least five years’ experience supervising/mentoring staff

All applicants MUST meet these minimum requirements to be considered for the position.


The position offers a competitive salary. In addition, as part of Columbia University, the National Center for Children in Poverty offers health care coverage, dental coverage, flexible spending accounts, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), pre-tax transit and parking reimbursement, retirement benefits, and tuition programs.

NCCP is committed to building a culturally diverse environment, and interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the center through their research.


All applicants must submit a curriculum vitae, cover letter, and three brief writing samples via Columbia University's Recruitment of Academic Positions System (RAPS).